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The Jiva Does Not Create
Mike: Chapter VII of your new book is a wonderful teaching and you have done a beautiful job communicating it. After reading, I’m curious about Question 5. If I understand correctly, the jiva creates the doer via superimposition. Is that right?
Sundari: The answer is no. When maya appears, awareness associated with maya “becomes” Isvara the Creator, and the world, or objects (duality), appear. It is more correct to say that maya superimposes both Isvara and jiva on awareness. The definition of jiva is “awareness with a subtle body.” Jiva is a principle, a tattva, not a specific person. It is actually pure awareness, paramatma.
Awareness apparently under the spell of ignorance, or maya, then identifies with the objects and takes itself to be a doer – believing that awareness is something to gain. The jiva does not create anything because it is just a reflection, it is inert. The self under the spell of ignorance, or jiva, projects its own world of perception and interpretation (jiva srsti), which it superimposes onto Isvara’s creation (Isvara srsti).
Jiva manifests as three jivas according to the state that it experiences:
1. As viswa, the waking state entity. In this state its mind is totally extroverted. It is hypnotised by duality. It chases and consumes experiences. Viswa appears in two forms: (a) free of identification with objects (a jivanmukta) or (b) as a doer (karta), or “person,” identified with objects (a samsari). Both a jivanmukta, a liberated person, and a samsari, a bound person, have a common identity as awareness.
2. As taijasa, the “shining one,” awareness with a subtle body, illumining the dream state. The subtle body is turned inwards, facing the causal body, the vasanas. The experiences it has are just experiences of the vasanas. Jiva is not present in the dream state in the same way that it is present in the waking state. In the waking state jiva identifies with the doer, so the doer is not seen as an object. It is thought to be the subject. In the dream state there is also identification but the doer/ego can also appear as an object illumined by taijasa, awareness reflected on the subtle body; in the dream you can see the waker going about its business, walking, talking, eating, etc. The doer/ego is a dream doer/ego similar in some respects to viswa but with unique powers. These powers are inherent in the dream state and do not belong to taijasa although in normal dreams it identifies with them. The doer-ego and the events appearing in the dream are just waking state events that have become vasanas that outpicturing as dream events.
3. As the sleeper, prajna, in the deep sleep state. Prajna means “almost enlightened.” It is almost enlightened because it experiences the limitlessness and bliss of awareness but lacks knowledge of what it is experiencing because the intellect is not present in deep sleep.